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Diners Club Matches goes Newport

December 07, 1999

it's more camera friendly from a marketing standpoint (there's plenty of

real estate to sell); and thirdly, it allows Pelican Hill to feature both

courses on television.

"(The Irvine Company) felt that now is the time to (host a major golf

tournament), and if it was going to do it, it was going to be first class

and the facility would be first class," Ford said.

"This is not just the golf course we're promoting, but we're promoting

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all of Orange County."

So as Pelican Hill and Jack Nicklaus Productions gear up for the big

pageant, tournament director Pollard believes the event will help make

the area "a golf mecca" as it complements the Toshiba Senior Classic, the

Senior PGA Tour stop at Newport Beach Country Club in March.

"I don't want to compete with the Toshiba," Pollard said. "There are

enough spectators (in Orange County) to not only support the Toshiba

Classic and the Diners Club Matches, but more.

"I want this event to come back to Pelican Hill year after year. We

never want to leave."

Pollard said the desert produced galleries of 350 people at times.

"We wanted the event in a growing and dynamic population where the

community would embrace it and corporations would embrace it, and I know

next year it will be five times better and my job will be three times

easier," Pollard said.

A Celebrity Diners Club Matches Pro-Am will be played Friday. For

tickets Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday, call (949) 759-5175.

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